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The other major element among the sources for this book was the oral interview. The collection in the Reuther Library was only of marginal use to me although the long narrative of Carl Haessler was illuminating. George Colman and I therefore conducted a number of interviews, the importance of which can be gauged from references to them in the text.

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They were all conducted in and George Addes was my next most important source. Addes also provided fascinating insight into his own place in the history of the UAW, especially the crucial questions of the election for president at the Cleveland Convention in from which office he backed awaythe response of the International to the wartime strikes, and the grinding conflict with Reuther in We were unable to obtain a requested interview with Emil Mazey.

An interview with William Weinstone, district organizer DO in Detroit from to and currently official historian of the U. Saul provided all sorts of information and made numerous suggestions about lines to pursue. I thank him for the stimulation he provided and the warm welcome he gave to me. I cannot thank them enough. Many others contributed to this book as well. Dozens of people in Detroit talked about Sugar and this history with me—for a while, new ideas sprouted weekly.

To try to name them all would be to risk forgetting someone special. But I must thank those who read all or parts of the manuscript.

Macy, Austin Johnson, and Lois Johnson. Besides discussing hundreds of problems with me, Lois also typed the entire first draft, turning my hieroglyphics into English. The amazing Ginny Corbin, who never makes a mistake, typed two further drafts and saved me from dozens of misspellings.

As for Gertrude and Emma Mayer, whose support was so crucial as the research was proceeding, I just hope that the final product will put to rest their numerous concerns about the manuscript. They obviously contributed greatly to the book and it would be sad to think it a disappointment to them. But finally, and above all, I thank the man who made this book possible and in whom the spirit of Maurice Sugar lives on, Ernest Goodman.

I ask him to share the dedication of this volume with the person who got me interested in the whole business long ago. Page 24 - [see page image] 23 1 4jr An American Radical Brimley In September ofKalman and Mary Sugar arrived with their two small children in a little logging village then called Superior, a whistle stop on the Soo line to Marquette.

Standing in the rutted, unpaved main road, the Sugars could see a few scattered clapboard and split-log buildings separated by stretches of grassy open space and a few clumps of second-growth conifers. To the north was Waiska Bay Kalman thought it was called Whiskey Bayand across it lay a grey line of buildings, scaffolding, and smokestacks. That was Bay Mills, an im pressive complex of sawmills connected with Superior by a long trestle. In all other directions stood dark evergreen woods.

Winding out of them was a deep stream named, like the bay, for the great Chippewa leader who had conquered the Huron.

Thousands of tons of timber rode its currents each spring and spilled into the bay, forming a moving island, and was then pulled toward the sawmills. The train trip from nearby Sault Ste. Marie ended a long voyage that began on the shores of the Baltic Sea a few years before. Inwhen he was twenty-three, Kal man came with his brother Isaac to Baltimore and was followed in by Mary, whom he soon wedded. Sugar was a peddler. Pearl, their first child, was born there in Hard times soon pushed them on—north to the timber kingdoms of the Upper Peninsula.

Kalman first tried his hand as a traveling salesman of foodstuffs and dry goods working out of St. Ignace, where their second child, Lawrence, arrived in He peddled his wares in lumber camps and fishing towns all over the Upper Peninsula until he discovered Superior, where he immediately recog nized the opportunities for a general-provisions merchant.

Page 25 - [see page image] 24 Maurice Sugar was thus the son of pioneers, an unusual circumstance for a U. He was born on August 12, in the bedroom above the new store next to the railroad tracks. Two years later, when Mary delivered the last Sugar child, Victor, the store was larger and a stable had been added. The town was developing rapidly, boasting two hotels, a restaurant started by Mrs. Belanger, four barbers and—a sure sign of settling down— Mme. It also had a new name, Brimley.

Bythe Sugars owned their place free and clear and employed a fifteen-year-old French Canadian servant girl. Also living with them was Charles Main, a Russian-born Jew and a traveling salesman. They owned two horses, one for dray and a fancier pleasure horse, Nancy, whom little Maurice loved dearly.

The store itself was spacious, sported the traditional pot-bellied stove, and sold all the essentials of life in the north woods. Like all country stores, it was the gathering place for townspeople to exchange gossip and tell stories. A school picture reveals a sturdy nine-year-old—a son of the north.

Arms folded confidendy, face open and engaging, he looks healthy and happy. Sugar retained a roseate vision of those early days. School was not a high pri ority, although books were important. His father read some, particularly a multi volume world history, and was reputed to have a strong knowledge of the Bible, and Mary had an abiding interest in music.

Here Sugar acquired characteristics and attitudes that differentiated him from many of his left-wing intellectual friends but matched those of lots of Detroit working people. Sugar could think of little from those years that might have influ enced his decision to become a Socialist. The only Socialist in the area was Gus Bertram, who was thought to be a little odd. But the whole experience of life in Brimley was set in a context of them versus us, and the Sugars, typical of most shopkeepers or barkeeps dependent on working-class customers, sided with labor.

Their owners lived far away and representatives were few and far between. Only two company superintendents, one bookkeeper, four sawmill engineers, and five foremen resided in Brimley.

One more man Page 26 - [see page image] 25 should be added to the list: Parsille, manager of the company store founded in by International Paper. Significantly, he was also the postmaster, the only government official in town. Against this handful of gentlefolk, the census of listed people who worked with their hands or catered to those who did.

Brimley was a working- class town. Sugar remembered many family men among the Brimley jacks. Young Maurice was fascinated by the work and the lore of lumberjacks. Their work life had two distinct phases. First was the main work in the wood land camps during the winter, followed by the river drive after the thaw. The second covered more varied summer activities. Many jacks went to work at the sawmills for the same companies that jobbed out the logging operations in the forest.

The work in the mill enthralled Maurice: When the floating logs reached the mill, they were steered The saws cut the logs into shortened lengths, which then were pulled upwards into a trough. Intermit tently there were openings in its walls, fitted with chutes running down to the hatches of the waiting freighter. On one side of the trough were platforms upon which men stood.

When a log arrived at the chute, a man hitched into it and pulled it into the chute. Here was a fascinating operation. We kids never tired of watching it, and frequently the men let us handle their pickaroons and make a try of it. We got to be pretty good at it, even though we frequently got stuck on logs and had to let them go by.

While Maurice never actually witnessed lumberjacks at work, he heard Page 27 - [see page image] 26 dozens of stories about them. His sense of humor, evident in his later courtroom presentations, speeches, letters, and especially songs, owed much to these tales.

Their essential characteristic was to intrigue the listener with a confusing or improbable set of circumstances and then conclude with an outwardly rational but totally outrageous explanation or resolution.

Sugar worked with the twists and turns of such humor, juxtaposing irrational situations arising from social reality with the foolish answers given by the system. As Herculean as their work exploits may have been, their work life was assumed; as the core of their identity, it was fundamentally private.

Such dis creteness also marked their attitudes toward sex, about which, too, no tales were told. The ultimate disgrace was to be fired because it was assumed that his skills had failed him.

Other jacks remembered the man who had once been fired, talked about him slurringly, and avoided his company. His enormous capacity for plain hard work and his reputation as a perfectionist in the preparation of law cases were legendary.

He also expected the same from his staff. He had no use for slackers. Pride in work well done was matched by a reticence to boast about it. This was part of his charm, of course, but was sometimes seen as a distant, even ascetic, manner.

Such traits are easy to magnify for dramatic purposes, and it is useful to remind ourselves of their probable source: The nature of their work required intense cooperation, and living in the camps under such extreme conditions enhanced group solidarity. They could idolize their camp boss, whose strength and skill legitimized authority, but they also knew when they were being exploited. As one Upper Peninsula ditty put it: Page 28 - [see page image] 27 Oley Olsen is a jobber, Who will go to hell some day, For working men long hours, and cutting down their pay!

Lumberjacks normally went on strike not for union recognition or the right to bargain collectively on a permanent basis but because they were angry. Brimley had a strike and young Sugar witnessed it. It was called by the hold men at the sawmill. They had been receiving thirty-five cents an hour and they asked for forty. They had no union. The increase was refused and one day, quite suddenly, they all quit work. I soon learned that a strike by these men meant virtually a strike by the town of Brimley.

A couple of days went by, and nothing happened. Listening to the talk in our store and about town, I heard that a number of scabs had been hired. They were recruited from Sault Ste. The first talk I heard about the scabs was merely that they could never do the work.

And that made the work too dangerous. A day or two later the talk had changed. To reach the mill you had to walk about a half mile on the trestle. Now there was nothing to prevent anyone from walking on the trestle. And early one morn ing, when the strike was but a few days old, some scabs who were walking out on the trestle to go to work ran into a number of strikers who happened to be there just when they came along, and who were apparently unfriendly.

There was some jostling. The scabs ran back towards land. They traveled as fast as they could, but were impeded by the crossbeams of the trestle which [had] considerable space between them.

One of the scabs fell into the deep water and had to be pulled out by some strikers. The next day none of the scabs showed up for work. The following day the strikers went back to work at forty cents an hour.

All Brimley was pleased. His parents knew nothing of socialism. Kalman Sugar finally joined the Socialist party, but he did so in under the influence of his son, not vice versa. In the s he was a staunch supporter of William Jennings Bryan.

Nevertheless, from life in a harsh environment where hard work was only a fragile barrier against poverty, from the association with an entire community of working-class people and poor farmers, in suffering himself from an education Page 29 - [see page image] 28 that taught him to read and little more, and in absorbing the timber tradition of collective, proud, and awe-inspiring labor, Sugar certainly learned important lessons for socialism.

He learned a great deal more—about fighting and drinking, about guns and hunting, about the joys of singing, dancing, and reading. He also learned about himself, his family, and their place in the community and in the United States.

The tales told about exploits with bottle and fist were fine for the public and for the receptive imaginations of boys like Maurice, but for the wives and children of hell-raising jacks, perhaps the stories came too close to reality.

The yarn about Joe Donor of Eckerman, who drank himself into oblivion, crawled home, passed out under the dripping eave, and awoke in the morning encased in a frozen shroud was amusing enough but also a frightening reminder that the most frequent victims of accidental death in that part of the world were frozen drunks. The legend of P.

Small, who would bite the head off of anything from a snake to a pet owl for a drink, got lots of laughs; but he stirred thoughts of the pitiful plight of the old alcoholics who hung around in every town. The Sugars had their own experiences with drunken lumberjacks. Bill, a father of three, had just returned from the woods and, recognizing the temptations in store for himself for the next few days, asked Kalman to keep a portion of his pay packet for him in his safe.

Under no circumstances was he to let Bill have the money. Late in the evening came a thunderous pounding at the door; it was Bill, dead drunk and demanding his money. He careened through the store, swearing and screaming. Finally he unleashed a stream of anti-Semitic epithets that ter rified Maurice, who watched the whole affair from behind the counter. But his father prevailed. Limp and pale with frustration, the sodden lumberjack left the store.

This incident underlines the harsher side of the often glorified milieu of the whiskey-soaked lumberjack. There is no romance here. Nor, in fact, was there a great deal in the other enterprise that preoccupied the story-tellers—fighting. Unreal as might seem the tales of T. Sugar was horrified by the vicious fights he observed as a child. The victor rose slowly, Page 30 - [see page image] 29 1.

An American Radical looking at his left hand. His thumb was hanging by a shred of skin. Brimley was a meeting ground for people from remarkably diverse origins. Most were of Yankee extraction, although three were second-generation Irish, and three German. They largely married younger women of Canadian background both English and French who came from the more populous Soo area.

For their part, the English-speaking Cana dians had followed the pine in a similar fashion across their country. Many Brim- leyites thus spoke English with a brogue. The largest single ethnic group in Brimley, however, was French Canadian, which accounted for about a quarter of the total population. His best boyhood friend was Tom Belanger, whose large family lived close by.

Pastime: Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend

He worked along with three of his sons in the sawmill and lumberjacked in the winter. The Belangers were typical of the French population of Brimley in many respects and lived close to their compatriots. Only in the length of their U. The father was poorly educated and Minnie was just seventeen only slightly below the French average when she married him. Most of the French had large numbers of children and experienced tragic rates of infant mortality.

In the case of Minnie Belanger, only seven of her eleven chil dren had survived as of While only a few Chippewa resided in Brimley itself, some two hundred lived in Bay Mills. Most also retained their Ojibwa names. The store rang with a half dozen different accents every day, and at dusk men would sit around and start telling their tall tales.

Sugar would later describe the scene in a short story: The Sugar family was conscious of its differentness. There were no other Jews for miles around. But really, I am terrible at moving and packing and decluttering and as proof, on-air, Daniel explores the contents of hastily packed box of crap that traveled with me from New York to California and has sat unopened in multiple apartments. Plus a discussion of movies that wrecked us for months, a restaurant in Denver that features cliff diving, a seasonal snackchat, a dog costume contest, JetSuiteX and so much more including Just Me Or Everyone.

This episode brought to you by Carbon We also took your question and did a round of Just Me Or Everyone. This show is brought to you by Brooklinen. Plus the owls that listen to my podcast, the high school morning announcement gig I didn't get, the worst fro-yo topping combination ever and so much more including a round of Just Me Or Everyone. This show is brought to you by GoTrinova. A Novel of hit podcast Forever 35 stop by the show to talk about the intention behind their show, skincare challenges, not sleeping in makeup, anxiety, the book writing process, whether eye cream works, being raised by teen mags, pregnancy and infertility, hemorrhoid treatments you can buy in bulk, haircuts, self-care, meeting on Tumblr, slow fashion and so much more.

We also took questions from listeners and a did a round of Just Me Or Everyone. Alison needs glasses and is hoping they'll add some spice to her face but has a disappointing frame shopping experience. David has a terrifying snake story and we all have some snake questions. Alison has a door update. Elliot gets a haircut.

Renee is on board with our Snackchat item and so much more including a round of Just Me Or Everyone and some coyote hazing. This show is brought to you by LootCrate. You know how books burn at degrees Fahrenheit, apparently? Alison's rage is burning at ! And it has nothing to do with the event she's missing to do this recording.

Also Renee used to work at a fancy yoga store and got let go for the best reasons. Plus Daniel shares some of his cult knowledge, David tells a harrowing boat story that Alison had a teeeeeeensy weeeeeeeensy bit of trouble following because of aforementioned rage and then everyone tried the Cynthia Nixon bagel abomination and the results may surprise you.

Plus a round of Just Me Or Everyone! This episode brought to you by GoTrinova. This podcast contains a discussion of suicidal thoughts. If you're struggling with suicidal thoughts call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Alie Ward is here to fondly recall the cupcake she gave Alison a bite of and share news of how tracking her sleep has resulted in sleeping better. Daniel scratches his back and eats peanuts like a dad, both of which started before children.

And a round of Just Me Or Everyone! This show is brought to you by Carbon Why won't Alison allow him to talk or plug his projects? The listenership demands answers and we have them. Plus some hiccup remedies, a plea for whoever sent the nice "Nibbles" tray to reveal their identity, some talk about giant olives and Las Vegas over the years, financial and existential anxiety, a terrible idea that everyone except Alison seems to like regarding how people should celebrate their birthdays, a misunderstanding about cereal, an egregious parking violation and so much more including a round of Just Me Or Everyone.

This show is brought to you by SuperChewer. We also took your questions over Patreon and Twitter. Download the episode from iTunes. Alison is afraid of her beloved blueberries and also thinks her feet might be shrinking. Renee is impressed with Daniel's knowledge of Rogers and Hammerstein. Alison is wondering what's going on with a certain voiceover style she keeps hearing.

I loved this book. It's as informative as a textbook but as readable and hilarious as a memoir which is quite a feat. See if you can guess! But then listen to find out. Demi Adejuyigbe is back after far too long and now he writes for late night!

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Alison wants to know how to handle a certain type of online interaction. Daniel's all about Country Garden magazine. Renee Colvert is here and she's a good person but not nearly as good as our fan phone call recipient, Todd Campbell, who donated a kidney to a stranger and then hiked the Grand Canyon.

Plus Just Me Or Everyone and more!

Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend

This show is brought to you by Grove. Decided to go all the way back to the near-beginning of this show. He was one of my first guests, appearing on the fifth episode of this podcast.

The show has changed in big and small ways since then. I say more about this at the top of the episode. He also appeared in and talked a lot about Guardians of the Galaxy. What follows is the original show description: We take some calls including one from a 15 year old who wants to know whether to tell his best friend he has a crush on her.

Renee Colvert is back and she's dressed like supergirl. Danielle Radford is back and she was once hit by a bus. Not to be outdone, Jeff's been hit twice by cars. We also talk about toxic fandom, hair texture types, wearing a wig, Alison's eyebrow, Alison's windedness and a tiny bit of marital serendipity that Daniel and Alison experienced. Plus so much more including a bizarro Snack Chat inspired by the Ortelan eating scene in Succession, don't worry we didn't eat themdogs we're in love with and a round of Just Me Or Everyone.

This show is brought to you by Handy. We talk about the traumatic turning point in her childhood when her father admitted to criminal activity, her relationship with religion, concerns that entertainment was a selfish pursuit, being a rule follower, the experience of having a show on MTV Nikki and Sara Liveworking with Nikki Glaser, pitching shows, feeling understood by her boyfriend and the need to feel understood, how free speech and the MeToo movement intersect in comedy, her podcast Loner at Coyowolf Creek, problems with social media, college shows and so much more.

My God he's old! Alison and Daniel celebrated at a picturesque romantic restaurant that was neither. Renee and David are here and Renee snorted at a client.